Four in a Row for Reds, Beat A’s 7-6


Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

What a difference a week can make.  The Reds are now streaking, Mat Latos is slated to make his first start of the season, and there are an ample number of bench players and relievers vying for Opening Day roster slots.

With a 7-6 win against the Oakland A’s, the Reds have pulled their record back to respectability at 8-12, for whatever Spring Training records are worth. 

Offensive Side of the Diamond:

Where else to start, but with Billy Hamilton.  In the bottom of the second, he drove in Skip Schumaker on a RBI single before seeing Devin Mesoraco gunned down at home.  Ultimately, Hamilton finished the day 2-for-4 with a run batted in and a run scored.

He scored his run in the seventh inning on what has become typical Billy Hamilton fashion.  After dropping a perfect bunt down the first base line for an infield single, the speedster went and got his eighth and nine stolen bases of the spring by swiping second and third with Brandon Phillips at the plate.  A simple fly ball would have done the job, but having it fly over the fence served the same purpose, putting the Reds ahead for good.

The other Red to go deep on this afternoon was the club’s golden gem, Joey Votto.  Taking Sonny Gray out to the opposite field, Votto powered up for his first bomb of the season, giving the club their first run of the day. 

Those who love to overreact to spring stats, are more than likely sweating over Votto’s .734 OPS in just 31 at-bats.  He may only be 7-for-31, with four walks, but based on past performance, he should be just fine.

Also adding RBI were Skip Schumaker, Devin Mesoraco and Ramon Santiago, who respectively drove in a run a piece. 

Reds’ Toeing the Rubber:

By all means, Tony Cingrani should have avoided the majority of trouble he found thrust upon himself in this contest.  It started early, when in the first inning, Mesoraco dropped a foul pop as he collided with Joey Votto, allowing Derek Norris’ at-bat to continue, which ended with him banging a two-run double. 

It all fell apart in the fifth when Cingrani appeared to fall off the map after a balk and a wild pitch, allowing three runs to cross the plate before his day was done, conceding five runs, three of which were earned.  He did manage to strike out four, but his ERA ballooned up to 6.39, not quite the inspiring number for the newest member of the Reds rotation.

Backing up the young lefthander was a collection of pitchers with different roles in the organization, featuring; Lee Hyde, Chien-Ming Wang, Logan Ondrusek and Drew Hayes. 

Hayes nearly managed to let the game slip out of his grasp in the ninth by cutting the lead down to just a single run, but got Tyler Ladendorf to strike out swinging to end the ballgame.

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Tomorrow, the club welcomes in the red-hot Cleveland Indians who have an impressive record at 14-3 so far this spring.  Mike Leake starts in opposition of Cory Kluber at 4:05 PM while the game is broadcast on radio at WLW, while the Indians television crew will be in town for those that can adjust their satellites to intercept such service.